Strange Amazon Coupon Code Functionality

Preston Swarthout Blog Leave a Comment

Recently, we stumbled upon an Amazon product detail page (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00005KAXY/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_DoCdDb1CZGAD) that looked like the following:


What stood out to us was the checkbox below the price:


We haven’t seen this before, and after digging around Amazon some more we saw that this checkbox only exists on a handful of products. 

But for what purpose? 

It would certainly be easier to automatically apply the coupon to the price and show the following: “Price: $369.99 $344.99 & FREE Shipping”. But easier doesn’t always mean more effective.

We suspect Amazon is taking advantage of buyer psychology by tapping into the shopper’s desire for control (Power tactic). Amazon determined that showing “Price: $369.99 $344.99 & FREE Shipping” wasn’t as effective as allowing the shopper to activate their coupon themselves. They likely thought that shoppers would simply read the price and move on while in System 1 mode (automatic, fast, unconscious). With a checkbox, the shopper’s System 1 thinking is interrupted. They have to slow down. The now get to make a decision—they get the pleasure of driving their own experience by applying the coupon themselves.

This may seem like a simple, unimportant detail. But the human mind works in mysterious ways. Trust us when we say a choice like this can have a statistically significant impact on a shopper’s purchase intent.


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